OCD  includes intrusive thoughts,rituals,preoccupations and compulsions.

  • These recurrent obsessions or compulsions cause severe distress to the person.
  • A patient with OCD may have an obsession ,a compulsion or both.

OBSESSION : Obsessions are

  • Recurrent and persistent thoughts,impulses or images that are experienced as intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety or distress.
  • The thoughts,impulses or images are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems
  • The person recognizes that the obsessional thoughts,impulses,or images are a product of his or her own mind
  • The person attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts,impulses or images,or to neutralize them with some other thought or action

COMPULSIONS : Compulsions are

  • Repetitive behaviours (eg. Handwashing,checking) or mental acts (eg. Praying,counting,repeating words silently) that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession
  • The compulsive behaviours or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress

Although the compulsive act may be carried out in an attempt to reduce the anxiety associated with the obsession,it but in reality it may even increase anxiety.Anxiety is also increased when a person resists carrying out a compulsion.